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YC the Cynic is a constantly changing MC. “You’re Welcome”, his first mixtape in 2010, saw YC rapping over classic New York beats — exploring the lineage of rappers that came before him. By the time he released his next mixtape, “Fall Forward”, the following year, the rapper was already exploring and defining a new space for himself. Containing mostly original production, “Fall Forward” allowed YC to experiment, delving into complex, diverse, and imaginative flows, both in rhyme and subject matter. “Fall Forward” proved to be the breakout tape for YC, the success riding off the project pushing him further towards bigger collaborations and bigger stages. A founding member of the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective, YC has traveled with the group in the context of music, social justice, and community engagement alike, weaving the three into a tandem mission.

His newest project, “GNK”, sees YC engaging with some of the themes he does best: the complex associations behind certain uses of language and how speaking through different perspectives can be equally personal and universal.

We spoke to the Cynic about bearing the cross of the Bronx, New York hip hop, gentrification, the similarities behind “profit” and “prophet”, what does it mean to pay homage, the many voices behind “GNK”, and more.

Annotated excerpts on

  1. Excerpt #1: “The RDACBX”
  2. Excerpt #2:”Being Clever In Music”
  3. Excerpt #3: “GNK”
  4. Excerpt #4: “Profit and Prophet”

Show notes:

  1. YC the Cynic, “The Heaviest Cross”
  2. YC the Cynic’s new video “Night Thoughts”
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